How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should ensure that all Australians have access to abortion services

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

12th Nov 2018, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Day of the Unborn Child - Religious freedom

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by National Party Senator Barry O'Sullivan (QLD), which means it failed.

Note that only five Liberal Party Senators attended the vote, which is only 23% of the party, with four voting in favour of the motion and one - Liberal Senator Jane Hume (Vic) - crossing the floor to vote 'No' against the rest of her party.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that:

(i) the internationally-recognised Day of the Unborn Child is observed on 25 March as 'a positive option in favour of life and the spread of a culture for life to guarantee respect for human dignity in every situation',

(ii) religious observers attending Day of the Unborn Child services are continuously disrupted and harassed at annual protest rallies organised by pro-abortion groups, such as the University of Sydney Women's Collective, the University of New South Wales Women's Collective and Labour for Choice,

(iii) these protest rallies feature speakers who insult church-goers and accuse the church of supporting violence against women, and

(iv) then Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli, has advocated for exclusion zones around religious activities, stating "if they're (activists) determined to have a safety zone, why not a safety zone around any activities that could be personally intimidating for those involved"; and

(b) calls on all senators to:

(i) protect religious freedom in Australia,

(ii) note the hypocrisy of pro-abortion activists complaining about pro-life group activities near abortion clinics, while, at the same time, carrying out their own protest rallies against religious observances, and

(iii) support calls for pro-abortion activists to be banned from disrupting Day of the Unborn Child services across the nation.

Yes No Not passed by a modest majority

14th Feb 2018, 4:41 PM – Senate Motions - Abortion - Alternatives and counselling

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The majority voted against a motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) every human being, no matter what stage of development, is sacred and is deserving of the rights to life and liberty, and

(ii) mothers should be informed about the development of the unborn baby, the procedure of termination, the risks, both physical and psychological, due to the operation and alternatives such as adoption; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to fund counselling for women in relation to pregnancy terminations.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

7th Feb 2018, 3:56 PM – Senate Motions - Reproductive Health Services - Availability of abortion services

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it passed. While motions like these don't have any legal force, they do represent the will of the Senate and so can be politically influential.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) access to affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraception, is part of every woman's right to control her own body,

(ii) recently, the primary provider of surgical abortions in Tasmania closed their clinic, and the Tasmanian Liberal Government ruled out providing this essential service within the Tasmanian public health with women forced to travel interstate for treatment,

(iii) in January, Prime Minister Turnbull refused to comment on whether Tasmanian public hospitals should provide this essential health service, instead leaving the matter for the Tasmanian Liberal Government, and

(iv) across Australia, inconsistent laws and service provision means access to abortion can be extremely difficult, and women face high out-of-pocket costs; in particular, women in remote, rural and regional areas are often forced to travel long distances to urban clinics; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) show leadership and work with states and territories to remove all barriers to Australians accessing abortion services, including decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales and Queensland, and provision of surgical abortion services in public hospitals across the country, and

(ii) where state and territory health systems fail to provide abortion services, step in to ensure funding and provision of essential reproductive health services for all Australians.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 50
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 70

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 0 / 70 = 0.0%.

And then